2 Earthquakes Strike Solomon Islands In Less Than 24 Hours

A 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the Solomon Islands just hours after a 7.6 magnitude hit.
Posted at 12:01 PM, Apr 13, 2014

The Solomon Islands, home to about 550,000 people, was struck by a second major earthquake in less than 24 hours. 

"The latest tremor measured 7.7 in magnitude and was centered about 113 kilometers south of the Solomon Islands."

Thoguh initial reporting labeled the quake at 7.7, the U.S. Geological Survey has scaled it down to a 7.4 magnitude. The latest quake struck not long after the first — a 7.6 magnitude earthquake.

And according to the U.S. Geological Survey the quakes most likely resulted from the Australia and Pacific Plates, which converge and slip past each other at a rate of 95 millimeters a year. 

The plates form a transform fault, which means the plates slide next to each other, and unlike other types of faults they do not create or destroy earth's crust. The quakes, experts say, were most likely caused by a strike-slip fault.

The Solomon Islands are part of the Pacific's "Ring of Fire," an area of high tectonic activity in the Pacific Ocean. And in addition to the earthquakes, the country has been recovering from flash flooding that occurred earlier in the month. The floods killed at least 19 people and left almost 50,000 homeless. 

As of Sunday morning, a tsunami warning was in effect for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.